Previously the smallest patients at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, graduates of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) made a big splash on Tuesday, August 21. Over 400 babies, children and parents gathered for a celebration and reunion at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.
“We had a super hero theme this year, which I believe depicts the characteristics of our grads,” said Lynne Horodyski, registered nurse, NICU. “Some of them started out very small, as little as one pound, or very sick. They are now growing and thriving.”
Often having arrived into this world too soon or with complications, these NICU grads and their parents are proud to show off how far they’ve come since their time at Mercy Health. It is also an opportunity for colleagues to see just how much these former patients have grown and developed, in large part due to the remarkable care they were given while in the hospital. Mercy Health colleagues in attendance included NICU staff, providers, respiratory therapists, pediatricians and members of the senior leadership team.
“This is our favorite time of the year,” said Jane Topping, manager of Clinical Services, NICU. “We get to see how well our patients and their families are doing years after they leave our unit. We are truly privileged to be a part of their lives!”
The event this year was made special with Forever Memories photographing the reunion and running a photo booth. Families were provided with a free 4×6 photo to commemorate the night. Each grad also received a goodie bag with a superhero-themed children’s book, a T-shirt and a toy. In addition, parents of former NICU patients found ways to give back. The Sunday Dinner Group, whose membership includes a NICU parent, sponsored the event. Running for Covers, a group founded by a NICU mother to raise funds for Mercy Health Saint Mary’s NICU, presented a check for $2,000.
Thank you to the NICU staff for hosting this event for the patients and their families!